Support The Moscow Times!

Kiriyenko Says Germany Made 'Big Mistake'

PRAGUE — Germany made a "big mistake" that will cost the country hundreds of millions of euros by giving up nuclear power, said Sergei Kiriyenko, chief executive of Rosatom.

"We regret the German government's decision," he said in Prague on Monday. "It's a big mistake, especially for Germany."

Rosatom is seeking subcontractors to replace Siemens, which scrapped plans to return to the industry after the German decision in the wake of this year's meltdown in Fukushima, Japan. The Russian company is deepening ties with Alstom and Rolls-Royce Holdings, and courting Czech companies such as Skoda and Vitkovice Machinery Group, Kiriyenko said.

It plans to build 30 reactors in Russia and about the same abroad by 2030, he said. That will be possible only if Rosatom builds long-term strategic partnerships, said Kiriyenko, in Prague to meet Prime Minister Petr Necas and attend a suppliers' forum.

Rosatom unit Atomstroiexport is competing with Areva and Westinghouse Electric to build two reactors at CEZ's Temelin power station in the Czech Republic. Kiriyenko, who met yesterday with CEZ chief executive Daniel Benes, said the Russians would create as many as 25,000 Czech jobs if they win the contract.

"Should the Temelin tender be decided on purely geopolitical considerations, we don't stand a chance because the U.S. is a more important partner for the Czechs now," he said. "But I think pragmatism will be the main criterion."

The contract, which state-controlled CEZ plans to award in 2013, will probably include an option for at least one more reactor at the Dukovany power plant. Rosatom is ready to help CEZ co-finance the Dukovany facilities if needed, Kiriyenko said, adding that the government has not sought any assistance.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

As we approach the holiday season, please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world’s largest country.